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Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard

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The MOTIF XS7 is a powerhouse 76-key synth workstation from Yamaha. It comes with a mind-blowing 355MB of wave ROM which combines with the Expanded Articulation tone generator for previously unheard l... Click To Read More About This Product

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The MOTIF XS7 is a powerhouse 76-key synth workstation from Yamaha. It comes with a mind-blowing 355MB of wave ROM which combines with the Expanded Articulation tone generator for previously unheard levels of expression and sound quality. Also key to the XS experience is the easy-to-use performance recording for capturing ideas as you play”voices and effects intact. Over 1,000 voices (plus 64 drum kits), 4 musical arpeggiators, over 6000 phrases, a sampling sequencer, studio-style mixing, a color LCD, and assignable knobs and sliders for hands on control. Computer connectivity via USB and Ethernet. Includes Cubase AI, optimized for seamless integration with the MOTIF XS.

Instant inspiration, infinite possibilities
With the Yamaha MOTIF XS, inspiration is just a key press away. High-quality sounds to inspire you, intelligent arpeggiators to fuel your creativity, recording features to capture every idea, built-in sampling to create full audio/MIDI arrangements, rhythmic Patterns to compose with, studio-style mixing controls, and versatile effect processing to master your final productions. With all this and more, the MOTIF XS will soon be your go”to instrument”whether youre composing at home, recording in the studio, or playing live. It's got absolutely everything you need to make professional quality music.

High-quality sounds to spark your creativity
The MOTIF XS provides an exceptionally broad selection of realistic sounds to spark your creativity, with 355MB of high-quality waveforms and samples on board. A single Voice can have up to eight separate sound elements, enabling composite sounds of remarkable complexity and nuance. Among the standout voices is a resonant, meticulously recorded concert grand piano sound practically worth the price of admission by itself. New acoustic piano, electric piano and orchestral samples”not to mention the richly textured and distinctly electronic synthesizer waves”give you the sonic tools to fully realize virtually any style of music and any instrumentation.

The sound engine has been upgraded with the Expanded Articulation (XA) tone generation system. Using the eight available elements, XA allows you to more effectively recreate realistic sound and natural performance techniques”such as legato, staccato, and key release sounds”often used on acoustic instruments but unavailable or difficult to realize on electronic keyboards. It also lets you assign elements to on/off panel switches, and change sounds within a voice in realtime”for example, playing a classical guitar voice and switching between playing normally and playing high harmonics. XA also offers other unique modes for random and alternate sound changes as you play.

A wide selection of special Mega Voices provide even more expressive nuance, when used with sequencer tracks or the special Mega Voice Arpeggios. Mega Voices are not meant to be played from the keyboard because of their complex velocity layers, but have special expressive sounds that are designed to be precisely triggered by recorded data”for example, letting you create an acoustic guitar track with authentic sounding muted playing, slides, and bell-like harmonics.

Other voice-related features include a uniquely natural half damper effect for acoustic piano sounds. This gives you nuanced control over the sustained sound when pressing the damper pedal, depending on how far down you press the pedal. The MOTIF XS has a full complement of effects, both insert (Insertion) and send (System), and includes a special set of VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) effects that authentically model the elements in analog circuitry, realistically recreating the uniquely warm characteristics of vintage processing gear. Speaking of vintage, the instrument also includes a sophisticated Vocoder effect that produces classic robotic synthesizer sounds, molded by your speaking or singing voice through a connected microphone.

Ideal for live performance, song creation, and arranging
The MOTIF XS has lots of sophisticated features to help jump-start your creativity and live performance potential. One of the most powerful of these is the arpeggio phrase function, which lets you trigger a variety of sequenced phrases from the keyboard. There are approximately 6,000 different arpeggio phrases on board, and you can have four different phrases”playing four different instrument parts”running simultaneously and in perfect sync. The music-making possibilities are virtually endless. Have a drum Voice play an automatic rhythm, add an Arpeggio bass phrase, and fly in other instrument phrases as the inspiration hits you. Everything stays in sync and everything follows your chord changes.

While you experiment and play around with Arpeggios in the Performance mode, the song ideas will come fast and fierce”maybe too many to remember. No worries, though. You can capture them easily and directly by recording them to a song or pattern (which can be stored to the built-in flash memory). Since the data is MIDI, you dont have to worry about running out of recording space. You can record your keyboard playing, freely calling up various Arpeggio types as you improvise, then edit the Song later as necessary. You may even want to keep the recorder running as you play, then listen back later and pick out the best parts to create your final composition.

Another powerful feature is the Integrated Sampling Sequencer, which seamlessly combines audio and MIDI recording. Simply install optional DIMM modules (up to 1GB) and record the audio directly to tracks on the MOTIF XS. Record your vocals or acoustic guitar (with a microphone), electric guitar or bass, or even short rhythm loops from a sample CD.

There's also a Slice feature that automatically chops up your rhythms and riffs into their individual beats and notes, letting you manipulate the component parts of your sample loops as MIDI data”giving you the power to easily change tempo and rhythmic feel, without disturbing the pitch or sound quality.

Intuitive interface, easy operation
Despite all the advanced technology and wealth of features packed tightly into the instrument, the MOTIF XS is exceptionally intuitive and easy to use. It gives you a large, full-color LCD that lets you see multiple parameters at a glance, and has clear, high-resolution graphics with virtual sliders, knobs, and more.

The panel of the MOTIF XS provides an amazing level of control and flexibility. Eight knobs and eight sliders let you instantly tweak a variety of parameters and effects as you play. The eight knobs are especially versatile, letting you use the knobs to independently control eight different parameters (out of 24 selectable), or use them to control a certain effect setting (reverb, chorus, or pan) for up to eight different parts (in a song, for example). The knobs can also be used to change the rhythmic feel and other settings of Arpeggios and Patterns while they play back. Two Assignable Function buttons give you added control over the sound of the new Expanded Articulation (XA) Voices, letting you change sounds within a Voice in realtime.

Other convenient operation features include the improved Category Search function, which now is organized with Dual Categories that help you find the Voice you want. Calling up the Guitar category, for instance, gives you access to the Dual (sub) Categories, such as Acoustic, Electric Clean and Electric Distortion. The Mega Arpeggio Voices also have their own Dual Category for easy selection of those unique Voices.

The MOTIF XS is not only exceptionally intuitive and easy to operate, its a true joy to play”right down to the newly designed expressive keyboards. The MOTIF XS6 and XS7 have a FSX keyboard (61/76 keys), while the MOTIF XS8 features the grand piano-like BH (Balanced Hammer) keyboard (88 keys).

Computer integration
A full-featured music production synthesizer in every way, the MOTIF XS comes equipped with a variety of connectors and interfaces”for virtually any application and any studio situation. These include independent Assignable Outputs, A/D Inputs (for recording external sources), S/P DIF Digital Output, MIDI, Ethernet, IEEE 1394 (standard on the MOTIF XS8 and available on the MOTIF XS6/7 with the optional board) and two USB connectors, compatible with the high-speed USB 2.0 standard.

The comprehensive set of connectors”ethernet, IEEE 1394 (FireWire, mLAN), and USB”make interfacing with computers and your favorite software exceptionally easy. In particular, the ethernet connection gives you fast transfer of your MOTIF XS files to and from a computer on the same network. The IEEE 1394 interface (included on XS 8, optional expansion for XS 6 and 7) gives you a one-cable, one-network solution for high”speed, realtime transfer of multi”channel digital audio and MIDI data.

Software integration
Todays music production is highly dependent on software, and the MOTIF XS is designed to work seamlessly and transparently in your computer”based environment. The Remote Control mode lets you control your DAW software right from the panel of the MOTIF XS”for example, starting and stopping playback/recording with the special transport buttons, changing track levels with the sliders, and tweaking parameters with the knobs.

The MOTIF XS is also compatible with the MOTIF XS Editor”a comprehensive, easy-to-use editing software program that lets you edit (via USB connection) the mixing setups and mixing voices to be used for song/pattern playback directly on your computer. The MOTIF XS Editor is free and can be downloaded from the Yamaha website. Naturally, the editor can be used within Cubase as part of Studio Connections, and all settings can be saved with each project for instant recall.

If Cubase is not yet part of your software arsenal, a copy of Cubase AI is bundled with the instrument, letting you dive in and start using the versatile features of Studio Connections right out of the box. Cubase AI is a full-featured music production software that integrates fully with the MOTIF XS, and can easily be upgraded to Cubase 4. It gives you all the tools to produce professional level recordings”quickly and easily”with a system that you can expand into the future.

The Cubase Connection”and Studio Connections
The MOTIF XS is specially designed to function seamlessly with Cubase 4, Steinbergs powerful DAW software”giving you a comprehensive, all-in-one music production system in which both hardware and software are fully integrated.

With our Studio Connections system (created jointly with Steinberg), you can effectively bring the MOTIF XS into the Cubase environment and use it just as if it were a plug-in software synthesizer”no complicated connections or complex setup necessary. Whenever you open a project, your MOTIF XS is automatically enabled as well, with all the custom settings you previously saved. You can use the convenient panel controls on the MOTIF XS to remotely to control a wide variety of operations on Cubase 4. And since song files on the MOTIF XS are in Cubase format, you can create material on the MOTIF XS and easily import it to tracks in Cubase 4 for further editing and mixing.


  • 76 keys
  • 355MB of wave ROM
  • Xpanded Articulation (XA) tone generator
  • Instant Performance Recording
  • Updated interface
  • Large color LCD screen
  • 8 knobs and sliders
  • Studio-style mixing environment
  • Virtual Circuitry Modeling effects
  • 4 intelligent Arpeggiators
  • Integrated Sampling Sequencer with 1 GB of optional memory
  • Total Computer Integration
  • Cubase AI software included
  • MOTIF XS7: 76 keys, FSX Keyboard (Initial Touch/Aftertouch)
  • Tone Generator: AWM2 with Expanded Articulation
  • Polyphony: 128 notes
  • Multi-timbral capacity: 16 parts; audio input parts (A/D, mLAN*) *1 stereo part
  • Wave: 355MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 2,670 waveforms
  • Voice
    • Preset: 1,024 Normal Voices + 64 Drum Kits
    • GM: 128 Normal Voices + 1 Drum Kit
    • User: 128 x 3 (selected and copied from Preset bank) Normal Voice + 32 Drum Kits
    • Performance User: 128 x 3 (up to 4 Parts)
    • Filter: 18 types
    • Effect System: Reverb x 9 types, Chorus x 22 types, Insertion (A, B, L) x 53 types x 8 blocks, Master Effect x 9 types, Master Equalizer (5 bands), Part EQ (3 bands, stereo)
    • Samples: Up to 1,024 Waveforms (Multi Samples), up to 128 Key Banks per Waveform, up to 4,096 Key Banks
    • Sampling sources: analog input L/R, Stereo output (Resampling), digital output mLAN (available on the MOTIF XS6 and 7 when the mLAN16E2 has been installed)
    • A/D Conversion: 24-bit, 64x oversampling
    • D/A Conversion; 24-bit, 128x oversampling
    • Sample Data Bits: 16
    • Sampling Frequency: 44.1kHz, 22.05kHz, 11.025kHz, 5.5125kHz (Stereo/Mono), via mLAN (when the mLAN16E2 has been installed) 44.1kHz (fixed)
    • Sampling Memory: Optionally installed, expandable to 1GB (512MB DIMM x 2 slots)
    • Sample Length: 32MB mono, 64MB stereo
    • Sampling Time: 44.1kHz”6 min. 20 sec.; 22.05kHz”12 min. 40 sec.; 11.025kHz”25 min. 20 sec.; 5.0125kHz”55 min. 40 sec.
    • Sample format: original format, WAV, AIFF
    Sequencer block
    • Note Capacity: Approx. 130,000 notes
    • Note Resolution: 480 ppq (parts per quarter note)
    • Maximum Polyphony; 124 notes
    • Tempo (BPM); 5 300
    • Recording type: realtime replace; realtime overdub (with the exception of the Pattern Chain); realtime punch in/out (Song only)
    • Tracks: Pattern”16 Phrase tracks; Pattern Chain”Pattern track, Tempo track, Scene; Song”16 sequence tracks (Loop on/off can be set for each track), Tempo track, Scene track
    • Patterns: 64 Patterns (x 16 sections); 256 measures (maximum); 16 Voices per Pattern, up to 256 Voices for all Patterns; 32 mixing templates for all songs and Patterns
    • Phrases: 256 User Phrases per Pattern
    • Songs: 64 Songs; 16 Mixing Voices per Song, up to 256 for all Songs; 32 Mixing Templates for all Songs and Patterns
    • Arpeggio: Approx. 6,000 Preset types; 256 User types (MIDI Sync, MIDI transmit/receive channel, Velocity Limit, and Note Limit can be set)
    • Scene Memory: 5 per Song
    • Sequence Format: Original format, SMF format 0, 1 (Format 1 load only)
    • Master: 128 User (8 Zones (Master keyboard settings), Assignable Knob/Slider settings, Program Change Table)
    • Sequence Software compatible with the Remote Control function: Cubase 4, Cubase AI, SONAR 5.2 for Windows; Cubase 4, Cubase AI, Logic 7.2, Digital Performer 5 for Macintosh (Functions to be controlled differ depending on the software)
    • Controllers: Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, Ribbon Controller, Assignable Control Sliders x 8, Assignable Knobs x 8, Assignable Function buttons x 2, Data dial
    • Display: 320 x 240 dot, 5.7 inch graphic color backlit LCD
    • OUTPUT L/MONO, R (standard phone jack)
    • ASSIGNABLE OUTPUT L, R (standard phone jack)
    • A/D INPUT L, R (standard phone jack)
    • PHONES (standard stereo phone jack)
    • AC IN
    • mLAN (available on the MOTIF XS6 and 7 when the mLAN16E2 has been installed)
    • Power Consumption: 30W
    • MOTIF XS7: 1,252 (W) x 391 (D) x 122 (H) mm, 17.0 kg
    Pro Coverage
    • Customer Reviews

    Review Snapshot

    by PowerReviews
    YamahaMOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard

    (based on 7 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

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    Reviewed by 7 customers

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    (28 of 49 customers found this review helpful)


    Okay for sounds, not for sequencing!

    By Jon Remy

    from Frisco, TX

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    I took this keyboard back and got my old ES7 back. After sequencing on this keyboard, no matter what, each mix sounds muddy. On my old ES7, all the tracks were pristine and very separate in the mix. The sounds are okay, but a LOT of the great sounds from the ES7 are gone, e.g., Atmosphere Guitar and ClapHappy. Also, in the mixer section, there is no more "dry" level to adjust, just the reverb and chorus sends. I used to use that function quite extensively to put things farther back in the mix, and now it's gone on the XS7. Another setback is that there is no more step writing function when recording. This is very useful on the ES7, but it is totally missing from the XS series, just replace, overdub, and punch in, BUT NO STEP WRITING!! That defeats the whole purpose of calling it a sequencer if you can't even sequence with step writing, which is how it all began anyway! I'm totally disappointed with the XS series, as well as the new M3 by Korg. I bought that too and ended up taking it back. The sounds from both the XS series and the Korg M3 seem to have deteriorated. Although there are some good new sounds, they just don't keep up with the old sounds from the ES and Triton Studio, which, in my opinion, sound far superior to these new products. They claim to be high-definition sounds, but I truly think they compromised each sound by adding more sounds and more wave ROM, but I still they the individual waveforms are not as pristine as on their predecessors. In this day and age when companies would rather produce in quantity, rather than focus on quality, it's no surprise that quality has started to decline now in the keyboard marketplace. The best keyboards I've played ever are the Yamaha Motif ES series and the Triton Studio (not the Triton Extreme, which, also was "inferior" to the Triton Studio). Anyway, I'm disappointed and glad I got my ES7 back, since I've heard Yamaha is going to be discontinuing that line also.

    (18 of 18 customers found this review helpful)


    Giant leap forward

    By productionmgr

    from Los Angeles, CA

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    The improvements over my ES8 are amazing. To be brief, the quadruple arpegiation opens an entire new world for composers. With 6,000 arps available you could spend years making combinations. And the intelligent arp feature that allows your bass line to follow chord changes has to be played to be believed. The screen is bright and dep, deep, deep. The new voice articulations are spectacular and there has been a giant improvement in the orchestral sounds. The list of advantages this machine has over the ES series is overhwelming.

    (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)


    Yamaha Motif XS7

    By Garry Miller

    from Murrieta, California

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    Before I made this purchase, I did a lot of research on other production synthesizers - all the main brands - Roland, Korg, Kurzweil, and played all of them. My main thing is sound quality, instrument realism, and ability to multi-track without having to go to outboards, tape, or otherwise with vocal tracks. Now that I have my Motif, and have had a chance to work with it, I am convinced I made the right decision. This is a truly professional instrument in every respect. Again, my main thing is sound quality and realism. This machine has a huge array of instruments, perfectly synthesized and sampled, with no add-on expensive sound modules required. completely self-contained. With a Gig of memory for recording audio tracks and samples, I barely even use my mixer. There are too many features to list - probably the most future-proof instrument I have ever seen. The one thing I would like to see improved is the manual - you have to study this to understand how to chain sequences, create and use patterns, and understand how to use the main modes of operation. Once you get this down, it is very intuitive and fast. For arrangers, songwriters, and live performers, I don't see how you could find a better instrument at any price.

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


    I'm Still Discovering Stuff

    By Kenneth "Kyn" Mahone

    from Seattle, WA

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    I actually had my xs7 for 2 years, and I'm still learning new things about this partner in music has an MO6 and we trade so many ideas when we're in performance mode, and I've either altered or made more sounds in Voice mode...and the recording is mega easy!!! I recommend this board to anybody serious about stage performance!

    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


    monster keyboard, best acoustic sounds ever

    By tincho

    from Quito, Ecuador

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    If you're looking for the best acoustic pianos, guitars and bases, this is your keyboard, tons of amazing EPs, very realistic electric guitars. The arpegiator is really lots of fun to use and helpful to sparkle creativity, the sequencer is really easy to use (after owning a Roland xp 80, anything is easy). Highly recomend this one!!!

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Great machine!

    By DarkPoet

    from Atlanta, Ga

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    I've played all the major brand workstations: Roland, Korg, Kurzweil. All of them are top notch, but the Motif, in my opinion, trumps them all. The Fantom series may have better sound effects, and that's cool for trance, house, electronica. However, for those looking for the most realistic instrument sounds, the XS7 is the end-all, do-all. Not only does the Motif provide a multitude of realistic sounds (especially the basses, guitars, and pianos), but it's also easy to use. I actually learned how to use it in a short period of time through a little dabbling here and there. It's great for studio work or gigging, and the arpeggio feature is just plain awesome! I highly recommend the Motif XS series to any novice, professional, or hobbyist.


    Best workstation keyboard for the money!

    By Richard Carter

    from Hillside, no

    Comments about Yamaha MOTIF XS7 Music Production Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard:

    Motif xs 7. This thing is a beast. I gave it 4 stars not because of the keyboard itself, but I guess for some things I would like to see. The board is also heavier than I would like. Heavier than my own opinion. But that being said, the sounds are awesome. The on board controls are great. You can control every and anything on the fly. you have to pre program things first to get things exactly how you want. But that could be said about any workstation nowadays. The piano sound is great. Organ tone wheel sound is good. Better than the fantom :) electric pianos are great! Brass and string sections are also very good and expressive. I'm happy with my purchase.

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